Some Theaters Add Intermission to ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ Against Studios’ Wishes

Apple and Paramount are cracking down on some theaters adding an intermission to Martin Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon. The director did not include an intermission in his 206-minute epic sitting challenge, but some theaters inserted a break anyway.

Variety reports, “As of Friday morning, two European cinema chains and one independent theater in Amsterdam sold tickets to screenings of Killers of the Flower Moon with a built-in break. A spokesperson for UCI Cinemas, an exhibition chain with venues in Germany, Italy, Portugal and Brazil, confirmed that all of its nearly 80 theaters — with the exception of Imax screens in Porta di Roma, Orio, and Campi Bisenzio — had included a ‘six-minute interval towards the middle of the film.'”

In the United States, a Fort Collins, Colorado theater named the Lyric inserted an intermission until October 26. The Lyric did away with the intermission after distributor Paramount and producer Apple Original Films contacted the theater and told them to show Killers of the Flower Moon as intended — without an intermission.

Martin Scorsese Doesn't Think Killers of the Flower Moon Is Too Long

Killers of the Flower Moon
Image Credit: Apple TV+.

Killers of the Flower Moon stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Lily Gladstone. The official description on Apple TV+ reads, “When oil is discovered in 1920s Oklahoma under Osage Nation land, the Osage people are murdered one by one — until the FBI steps in to unravel the mystery.”

Scorsese has not yet commented on the intermission scandal, but said in an interview to the Hindustan Times, “People say it’s three hours, but come on, you can sit in front of the TV and watch something for five hours.”

“If Scorsese didn’t intend for there to be an intermission, I think that should be at least the primary way people can see it,” says Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Boxoffice Pro. “That being said, it was a long movie. And I think if there is enough demand out there, and especially if it means a difference in helping someone make the decision to go and buy a ticket, rather than not go see the movie, then maybe there’s an economical and practical argument for at least a limited option.”

Killers of the Flower Moon is playing in theaters nationwide — hopefully without an intermission, as Scorsese, Paramount, and Apple intended. When the movie streams on Apple TV+, viewers can pause and take an intermission whenever they like.